PCT 2007 – Day 33 – Mexican border – Lake Morena, CA

Day 33 4-27-07
Mexican border – Lake Morena
20.6 miles; 20.6 total miles; 1855.80 trip miles
80+; sunny

Today we got up at 5 AM to get to the border by 8. I was crushed, since I didn’t sleep. We had breakfast and were on the road by 6. The drive out was pretty with the rising sun. It was super hazy due to the smog.

When we got to the border, there was a large group of hikers just about to leave. I finished my packing and made my way up to the monument. We took my picture and at 7:50 AM I was officially a PCT hiker. I saw rabbits right away scurrying off the trail. There were lots of lizards, hummingbirds, butterflies and dragonflies out. I also saw two garter snakes on the trail. I passed many hikers and hiked with quite a few others as well. I met some hikers I had seen at the PCT Trailfest in Seattle just before I left. Most of the hikers I met were alumni hikers.

The trail was so much hillier than I ever thought it would be. When the group of hikers I was with got to Hauser Creek, there was a whole bunch of hikers resting in the shade before the 1200′ climb to the ridge above. We also stopped for a while.
It was weird to be on the trail again and experiencing situations like this one.
The biggest issue of the day was the heat. It was super hot! I had to carry 6 liters of water. That’s 12 pounds, almost the same weight as my whole pack without food.
It was really odd to be hiking. I was filled with all sorts of emotions today. I have seen all kinds of photos from the journals I have read, so I know what is in store for me. It was kind of hard for me to believe I was now a PCT hiker.

When I got to Lake Morena, I just about had time to set up my camp and shower before dinner was served. They made us burritos, chips and salsa. The former hikers and other trail angels put on a party. At this party they serve food, give advice, and people get the chance to meet other thru-hikers.

Later they played a movie of videos and photos of 2003 hikers. It practically brought tears to my eyes. The imagery was breathtaking. It was hard to sit and watch. I wanted to wait and experience it first-hand. I had a hard time believing I was about to hike what I just saw. It had been my dream since doing the AT six years ago. I tied my left laces too tight and the top of my foot hurts. It should be better by the time I leave on Sunday. I also need to slow down so I can enjoy myself more and also get further in the day. I have to remember that I have all day to get to camp. It not like the AT where you have limited shelter selection of where to stay. Out here you can sleep anywhere you want, so camp can be whenever or where ever you want.

Tomorrow I will attend talks about the trail and see my parents.

Scatman 2011- What an odd experience.  I went from ocean to desert over night practically .  I felt like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.  I was a mixed bag of emotions all day.  The hiking was good except for the big climb.  The heat was definitely going to getting used to.  After seeing so much flora I wished I had boughten a book on it so I knew what I was seeing.  There were so many kinds of plants and flowers to see.  Some would stay with me on the trail all the way to Canada, others were selective in where they grew.

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Scatman

Get out there!

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5 Comments

  1. Craig says:

    I didn’t realised you start so much after me. You must have been running north because we met at Big Bear I think and at this point I had a 85 mile lead.

  2. Scatman says:

    Craig, I thought we met after the hot springs north of Big Bear. You’re correct I was moving. I think my natural speed at which I hike and the month on the bike I was much more conditioned for the trail than most at this point.

  3. Craig says:

    We may have crossed paths at the kick off, but the first time I remember meeting you was at the Big Bear post office. It sticks because you were the other Craig I had been seeing packages for. Then there was a morning when you and Ultra Bright came by my tent and later that day you said there was a bear print less than 100m from my tent. I think all that was before Deep Creek. Yeah it was, because I remember being disappointed that Ultra didn’t come to the springs 😉

  4. Scatman says:

    She’s downstairs in the retail store, should I tell her you were disappointed? Didn’t know we work together now did you! haha

    You’re correct on all accounts. Your memory is better than mine. Sucks getting old. I do recall you guys were distracted by the balloon in the tree and missed the bear print.

  5. erm, someone else must have logged on to my computer and written that. Please disregard.